Interview With Jim Daily
Catherine Nivez (C.N.): Teads isn’t well-known to the general public. Can you tell us what the company does?
Jim Daily (J.D.): We work with business to business professionals and that’s probably the reason why the general public doesn’t know about us. Our job is to help brands reach their audience through broadcasting video advertising on high value editorial websites. Our clients (top brands, as well as their advertising agencies) provide us with their videos that we distribute to well-known media sites, such as the Washington Post or The Economist.
C.N.: Teads has invented its own video formats. Why are they innovative?
J.D.: Our technology is innovative and fascinating for many reasons. We have created a new form of advertising called ‘outstream’, which is the opposite of instream.
Instream, also known as preroll, are video ads displayed to internet users before the video content they want to watch is shown.
The outstream solutions that we have launched is an video ad which appears in the middle of editorial content; for example, between 2 paragraphs of an article, and then disappears automatically if the internet user doesn’t want to watch it. Our videos are generating incremental revenue that didn’t existed before for the editors of these publications. Until now, advertising space available on editorial sites with the greatest added value such as Forbes, the Washington Post or The Economist, were limited to more traditional advertising formats such as banners and preroll.
Video inventory, that is to say the advertising space available on these sites, was previously limited. Consequently, the editors’ revenue was also limited. Thanks to our technology, we unlock the most sought after and most exclusive video inventory there is and create new premium advertising space. We respond to the needs of both sides: More quality space for the advertisers and more revenue for the publishers.
C.N.: Your iconic ‘inRead’ format has already been copied many times by your competitors. How are you going to maintain leadership in this field?
J.D.: We invented the “inRead” format and yes, it’s true that we are being copied a lot in the market. First and foremost, what makes us the leader in our field is our technology. We are the first ones to have developed these outstream formats and we still are way in front of our competitors. We are always 10 months ahead of the market.
Our second greatest strength is our team. We have brought together the most talented individuals at Teads. Our dedicated teams are exceptionally energetic. The team is an important key to our success in this market and we have this key.
C.N: You are telling us that you have a very targeted approach. Which means?
J.D.: Our approach targets only the real consumers of the brands. Today, internet users don’t want to watch video advertising imposed on them that is far from their own interests. Our ‘inRead’ videos appear while the article is being read. If the consumer doesn’t want to watch it, he or she continues reading and the video closes automatically. We provide a choice. We don’t force the message. We propose and the user decides.
It’s the evolution of digital advertising. The more you help consumers to be in a desired relationship with brands, there’s a greater chance that they’ll buy the products. This is the whole history of advertising: Reach consumers in the best way that encourages them to buy your products.
Furthermore, our technology is able to understand our editors’ content through a semantic reading system of each editorial page. Our semantics scan the pages and identify the themes that are looked for, such as “sport,” culture or even “catastrophe,” when it comes to more dramatic news. We broadcast our videos only in contextualized content.
C.N.: Tell us about your SSP platform. Has it already been launched in the United States?
J.D.: We are currently in the launch phase for our SSP, which will be fully deployed by the end of Q1 2015. It works exactly the same as the Wall Street stock market. Space sellers (the editors) and their buyers (the brands) are both at the same marketplace for buying and selling. This is exactly what our SSP platform proposes, except it is specialized in the online media market. This SSP platform creates new income opportunities for the media and a new premium market for the brands. It’s very innovative and motivating.
C.N.: Now where do you stand in the American market a year after your launch? Are you satisfied?
J.D.: We were only 2 people here at Teads USA when we launched the company at the end of 2013. Nobody knew us. The American market is very complicated because it is the largest advertising market in the world. The competition is very fierce because there is a lot of money at stake.
A year after our launch, at the end of 2014, we had 37 people in our US team; not counting our team based in Miami that is taking care of the South American market. Now we are covering the entire country with our 3 offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. This type of growth is rather unique and rare. We began without any distribution network and there was no model of its kind before ours. Today we are known by the whole advertising agency community. This is a very good track record at the end of a year. Teads now has a triple-digit growth rate and shall be recruiting 185 new employees throughout the world in 2015.